Samuel Barber First Essay

Samuel Barber First Essay-32
And, like most musical prodigies, Barber took to languages and literature.He was, says friend and pianist John Browning, “absolutely fluent” in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Barber used literature as inspiration for many instrumental compositions.Gramophone's expert reviews easier than ever before.

And, like most musical prodigies, Barber took to languages and literature.He was, says friend and pianist John Browning, “absolutely fluent” in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. Barber used literature as inspiration for many instrumental compositions.Gramophone's expert reviews easier than ever before.

Samuel Osborne Barber was born March 9, 1910, in West Chester, Pennsylvania, to a comfortable and well-educated family, whose lineage was British, Irish, and Scottish.

His father was a physician, affable and community-minded, his mother, an amateur pianist. Heyman notes, music in West Chester was thought a “diversion,” a necessary pastime or hobby, a benchmark of civilized society, not a career per se.

On this side of the Atlantic (as a British writer), disentangling Barber’s output from the cult surrounding his 1936 has become a totem by which we judge American classical music in the UK.

No surprise it was chosen to replace the usual pooterish diet of jolly jingoism at The Last Night of The Proms following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

They loved spoiling their son whose childhood was overseen by cooks and servants and Sunday outings for classical music. Like many homes, the Barbers had a piano, and Sam and his younger sister, Sara, received piano and voice lessons. One source has him “making up tunes on the piano” at the age of two.

He penned his first piano piece, prophetically entitled , came at ten. His mother’s sister, Louise Homer, a contralto, sang frequently at the Metropolitan Opera, where Barber, hearing her when he was six, was “entranced” by her singing in .

My passion for Barber’s extraordinary elegy encompasses more than the piece itself.

A You Tube video of my one-hour "Saddest Music" multimedia presentation at Warwick's Bookstore, La Jolla, CA, Tuesday, November 30, 2010.

But the music relied on overripe, cinematic bombast and felt like a stuffy throw-back in a world where .

These low-key masterpieces were crafted by a composer in love with the art of composition.

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